Keeping Things Simple Ensures We Keep Kids Moving and IN the Outdoors

Each and every day we need to be moving, physically that is. A perfectionist by nature, I’m working hard to not let a need for perfection squelch the “good enough.”

This winter has produced an embarrassing dearth of snow in these parts. This has often made getting the kids outside rather difficult. Below-zero temperatures and crusty ice do not make for enticing conditions. Thus, these days I’m having to keep our physical endeavors as simple as possible and close to home, so they’ll actually happen.

A 10 – 15 minute hike brings us to the top of this “mountain.” It took some cajoling initially, but the driving winds off Lake Superior actually seemed to cheerfully push the kids up the hill. They love this activity, and find small treasures along the way.



For them the way home involves a quick ride back on the sled, which I purchased for five bucks 20 years ago while in college. Just thirty minutes after we begin the journey, we’re back in the warm house on a frigid day. It is impossible to overstate just how important this is for our family to have a successful day off together on a weekend or off-day from school. The comparison to a day in which we’re all cooped up together without any exercise is so stark as to be embarrassing. How can I ever allow this practice to fall out of habit? They need it every day. No exceptions. We all do.

Lately I’ve been consumed by the task of recording an audiobook of my story, which I believe will be titled The Emancipation of a Buried Man. The anxiety from this larger-than-life project of working to produce my first book (which should be in audio, print, and Kindle ebook format soon) causes me to stare blankly into space at the dinner table on occasion, lost in my own thoughts. Something as simple as trundling up the big hill in the frigid air has a way of drawing us all together. Nothing profound here. Just simple wisdom being recovered. A year ago I had a similar realization here, which produced fantastic memories:

The kids only get gym class at school once per week, and their activities on the playground during their short 15-minute recess each day are micro-managed to an astonishing degree. Therefore, it’s up to us to make sure the kids keep moving. Shoot, I’m even willing to tie it to their blessed screen time in order to make it happen. Whatever works…



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